Subject: [Geactivists] Sign-on letter for Polish Activist Farmer.
We are writing to ask for your support for Marian Zagorny, a Polish farmer activist that is being jailed for his anti-GMO work. Our European allies are asking for organizational sign-ons to a letter of support asking that he be pardoned. I have attached the letter below.
Marian Zagorny could be compared to Jose Bove and is well-known for his advocacy work against GMOs and factory farming. Marian has frequently protested GMOs and factory farming through unconventional actions such as destroying shipments of GM corn and releasing pigs into the offices of elected officials to highlight the officials' lack of concern for Polish farmers.
For his activism he was tried and sentenced and pardoned and then sentenced again. Currently his situation is that he may go to jail again for his activism from a few years ago, as a new sentence is being imposed.
Please send all sign-ons to firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday May 28, 2008. Thank you for your support.
President of Poland
ul. Wiejska 10
Dear President Kaczynski:
We, the undersigned organizations, request that your honor consider the pardon from prison of Marian Zagorny. He is an activist farmer known for defending sustainable agricultural practices and opposing genetically modified organisms. Marian Zagorny's work, from which he does not draw profit, is extremely valuable for the future of Polish and European farmers. When governments and scientists fail to protect the people from the negative effects of industrialized animal farming and genetic manipulations in agriculture, it is people like Mr. Zagorny who fill the void and, on behalf of those who take no action, act to fight for our food safety and food sovereignty.
Genetically modified crops can interbreed with and contaminate unmodified crops, creating offspring that interact unpredictably with other organisms and the environment. This is especially dangerous for farmers who wish to avoid GMOs and have no recourse to protect their crops from cross-pollination and contamination. Though well-documented, the dangers of GMOs are underplayed by industry, and people who dare to question this technology are labeled as enemies of progress.
GMO critics have raised questions about the ability of bacteria in human intestines to pick up antibody-resistant genes from genetically modified food. This could create powerful new bacteria resistant to known antibiotics, making human diseases harder to treat. In short, neither the biotechnology industry nor the scientific community has determined the various implications of genetically modified crops.
Corporations drawing profits from GMO technology such as Monsanto (also known for providing chemical weapons during the Vietnam war) want the justice system to silence people like Zagorny and put them in jail. Biotechnology corporations that disregard traditional rural values, the well-being of farmers and the safety of consumers prefer to work in areas where GMO opposition is marginalized and criminalized rather than proving the safety of their technology, which so far they have not been able to do. Placing Marian Zagorny behind bars vindicates these interests, and we cannot accept this.
The activism of Marian Zagorny goes beyond fighting GMOs. He is known for charitable work with impoverished rural families, but most of all he is known for staging protests aimed at big agribusiness and meant to show dire conditions of Polish family farming. The protest actions conducted by Marian Zagorny and capture public attention. They meet the criteria of civil disobedience and, though unconventional, they are conducted in the name of a higher goal of public good. Mr. Zagorny is not afraid to talk about the link between the domination of Polish pork production by multinational corporations and the thousands of domestic farmers who have been driven out of business.
Farmers organizations and civil society groups throughout Europe and the world respect and admire Mr. Zagorny's activism and courage. He is one of a very few Polish farmer activists who is invited to international meetings and forums of farmers organizations. He is credible and authentic, and he represents Poland strongly and proudly within the European farmers' movement. He is a charismatic leader of whom all Poland can be proud.
Poland should not prosecute and penalize activists like Marian Zagorny who are working to raise public awareness about dangers of industrialized agriculture and questionable technologies such as GMOs. With all respect, we encourage you, President Kaczynski, to pardon Marian Zagorny in regard to all of his pending sentences, as his action were not harmful to the society and only meant to preserve and protect Poland's farmers and agriculture system.